Jul 5, 2009


Click here to read the original query.
Click here to read version 3.

Dear Mr./Ms. X:

Liam Michaels, an archangel, is on earth to find and remove evil originating from a far darker source than any human can imagine. He faces his biggest challenge when Russia is taken over by a group of fallen angels bent on expanding their domination to all of Europe. As thousands die from a Russian bioweapon and the threat of even greater destruction looms, Liam’s angelic comrades question how an omnipotent God can allow such evil to exist. Liam faces a struggle to keep his companions in the fight, but the situation becomes desperate when he learns that the driving force behind Russia is his brother Lucifer, whose intent is the destruction of mankind.

My 80,000-word supernatural thriller, ANGEL’S FALL, explores the possibility of God's omnipotence and goodness in a world where evil prevails.

I have a doctorate in Microbiology and have served as an advisor to the U.S. government on methods of detecting bioweapons. I’m employed as the Vice President of Science and Technology for a biotechnology company. While I have published many professional articles and book chapters on microbiology and molecular biology, this is my first novel.

Thank you for considering my submission.

Sincerely yours,



Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow, Mike, I'm impressed. This is a super job of rewrite. It's tight and focused. Very clean.
One sentence to consider: "far darker source than any human can imagine." It seems to me that the concept of hell and Lucifer is very real to some folks. You also state he doesn't find out it is Lucifer until later. So maybe re-work that sentence. When he first comes to earth, what is the charge given him?

Bane of Anubis said...

Hi Mike,

I agree w/ Tricia about the improvement.

I'd like to see a stronger hook. The first sentence is a bit awkward, IMO.

The first line in your original query had more impact, IMO, but (as pointed out) probably highlighted the wrong things (though the conflict point -- bioweapons it highlighted was spot on, IMO -- and should be included here).

Also, I think a couple of your lines can be reworked to be more active (e.g., Line 2: When a group of fallen angels overthrows/infiltrates/takes over/etc. Russia (or the Russian govt), L must do X... Or perhaps, When fallen angels acquire bioweapons, L must...

I'm not exactly sure what he's doing, but a bit more detail to show the conflict, b/c right now L seems more observational than active (which, story-wise, I'm sure he isn't, but query wise, his actions need to be more apparent, IMO).

Finally, I think the bioweapon danger might need to be emphasized more to help highlight your rock-solid creds w.r.t. the subject. Not sure if this is something readily done within the construct of the query, but if so, than I'd definitely emphasize that detail more.

Anyway, my long 2 cents - hope it makes sense.

hope101 said...

Also agree there's substantial improvement here, but IMO what's still missing is the emotionality. You've got high stakes and a thriller plot, but a very detached voice.

A trick I learned from AW is to write the query from the POV of the protagonist in first person, as if he's writing a letter to a trusted confident. Then change the pronouns to get it back into third.

If you do that, it's almost impossible not to infuse immediacy, emotionality, and one or two specific details of character or plot.

Good luck!